On July 3, catch wrestlers and fans from across the nation will converge on Humboldt, Iowa, for what is shaping up as one of the most histrionic catch-as-catch-can wrestling events held in the United States in nearly 100 years.

The Frank Gotch World Catch Championships will take place July 3 at Humboldt High School, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for kids age ten to eighteen (kids under ten are free).

It is being held under the auspices of the Catch Wrestling Alliance (CWA) headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, and is co-sponsored by the Gotch Statue Committee and the Frank Gotch Kids Wrestling Club, along with IAwrestle

Catch wrestling is derived from old style catch-as-catch-can and was the forerunner of modern scholastic and freestyle wrestling. It allows joint lock submission holds (but no punching, kicking or chokes like in MMA)..

A free seminar on catch wresting will be held at 2 p.m. on July 2, in Bicknell Park. The seminar is being put on by Dr. Raul Ramirez, head of the Catch Wrestling Alliance in Los Angeles, and Roy Wood, longtime coach at the legendary Snake Pit in Wigan, England and founder of a local amateur wrestling club. Wood is coming from England just to participate in this historic event.

Gotch was born in 1878 on a farm three miles south of Humboldt, a town of 5,000 situated in north central Iowa. He was world heavyweight champion from 1908 to 1915, and most wrestling experts consider him the greatest catch wrestler of all time. His legacy has been kept alive in the town for a century, and an eight-foot bronze statue was unveiled there July 4, 2012, on the site of his popular training camp.

Also, contestants and fans will be invited to take the Frank Gotch Tour, and to stay overnight in town for the July 4 activities. Some travelers may want to take advantage of the RV availability at Frank Gotch State Park, located just three miles south of town, next to the old Gotch farmstead. The two host motels are the Super 8 in Humboldt and the Sleep Inn, which is located 15 miles south in Fort Dodge

“This is an incredible opportunity for sports fans to learn about catch wrestling, the style made popular by Frank Gotch,” said Mike Chapman, wrestling author and historian who has written several books on Gotch. “We will have lots of Gotch memorabilia on display at both the seminar and the tournament, as well as books and posters for sale..”

For further information, go to the CWA website or call Raul Ramirez at 310-930-6046. The website is catchwrestlingalliance.com



JULY 2, 2 p.m. — Free catch seminar by Roy Wood and Dr. Raul Ramirez at Bicknell Park. Downtown Humboldt;

Also display of Frank Gotch memorabilia and items for sale.


JULY 3, 9:30 a.m. — Frank Gotch World Catch Championships, with five men’s divisions (4 wrestlers in each) and one women’s division;

Also display of Frank Gotch memorabilia and items for sale.


BOTH DAYS — Frank Gotch tour, no schedule on your own.